Women’s rights versus Religion

Another week in politics. Republican Richard Mourdock has this to say:

„Life is that gift from God that I think even if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen”.

Commentators considered this controversial. No shit! This is not merely controversial, this gives me goosebumps. It is a prime example of how religion impedes women’s rights.

When do the religions of the world adapt to the modern society? When do religious people realize that science and technology are moving us forwards, changing the way we live? The knowledge, skills and capabilities we have obtained over the years drastically changed our way of living. The Bible is written by men, so is the Koran. Wise men probably, bestseller authors definitely. Women’s place in society is no longer only a slave of men and mother of children. They are as valuable to society as men. We have the opportunity to choose whether or not we want to have children, we have to take the responsibility to choose wisely. Getting children is not a requirement to avoid extinction, it is a decision to make by a man and a women. Together they are the foundation of our society. Not men. Not women. It is as if people forget that in order to get children you need both. Educate the world about contraception, about the wonders and hells of parenthood and keep the opportunity for abortion open.

In my opinion abortion is not a good thing. Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not against it. I merely say this because it appears to me it is a draining event, having a significant impact on a woman, physically as well as psychologically. With contraception and proper education the number of abortions could be significantly reduced worldwide. But accidents do happen. Unfortunately rape does happen. I am glad that the women that do get pregnant accidently or forcibly have the possibility to choose whether or not they are willing and able to look after a baby. It is a good thing that the opportunity exists; the actual act will never be a good thing.

Soviet poster circa 1925. Title translation:

Soviet poster circa 1925. Title translation: “Abortions performed by either trained or self-taught midwives not only maim the woman, they also often lead to death.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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5 Comments

Filed under Religion, USA

5 responses to “Women’s rights versus Religion

  1. Pia-Maria

    Was super fun to brainstorm around the topic! So challenge excepted! And I thought someone called studying theology useless 😀

  2. Pia-Maria

    Really nice text which caught my attention and raised some thoughts, thankyou for that!

    Abortion is a complicated matter. I see it more as an ethical question more than I link it to its religious dimension. Surely the ethics we like to talk about often date back to religion, more precisely to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This is especially the case in the western world. I agree with you that education and the distributing and allowing the usage of contraception would bring us a long way. But there will always remain the group of fundamentalists who believe, like republican Mourdock, that abortion is acting against God’s will.

    But before we judge a belief, a holy book or a tradition that carries these believes, we have to make a separation between the belief, the tradition and the holy book. It is not the Bible which is putting women down or judging abortion. It is the people interpreting it, it is the patriarchic tradition that carried its message to the pages of the Bible. Once we see the difference between the interpretation, the original message and how we decide to act upon the gained knowledge, that is where we can start to learn and respect our own history which is often neglected thanks to comments like from Murdock. Comments and beliefs like to those (which aren’t from the worst end for sure) make us think that religion and Christianity hasn’t adapted to this time and to this society we live in.

    Religion and the Christian church have adapted to our time more than you can think of and they are brain storming how to do it even better. For a couple of decades already the mainstream churches have lost their members and people hardly ever attend Sunday services. A priest is needed when you get married or someone dies. If even in those cases. Instead of the formal form of going to church, people attend to pick and mix their own beliefs. Spirituality, yoga, silent retreats in monasteries have become more and more popular. Some say you can have a spiritual encounter in a trance event together with thousands of dancing people who all seem to be in a trans with their hands up in the air.

    Not to sidetrack too far from the actual topic, I would like to stress your attention to the word separation. The separation of religion and ethics, the separation of a tradition and the holy book and finally to the separation of the actual position of women in our society and to the position we like to think women have already gained. In each mentioned category there are plenty of work to do but as the writer wisely put it, starting with education – in all the mentioned categories as well – might be the wisest thing to do.

    • Awesome Pia! Thank you for your superb comment. Wanna be my first guest blogger? Like your writing style combined with your theological knowledge. Plus you’re my friend 🙂

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